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Hand-Crank USB Charger 


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Hand-Crank USB Charger 

Written By: Rich Reynolds 


#0 or #00 Philips Screwdriver (1) 
10 Ohm. 1/8 Watt resistor (1) 
Hot Glue gun & hot glue (1) 
Multimeter or Continuity Tester (1) 
Soldering iron (1) 
USB A/B cable (1) 
Wire stripper/crimper (1) 
Zener diode. 5.1V. 1N4733A (1) 


hand crank flashlight (1) 


I wanted to be able to charge my cell phone, MP3 player, and other USB devices while not 
having plug-in power available. This hand-crank generator, originally designed by Ben Heck , 
ended up working the best. 

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Hand-Crank USB Charger 

Step 1 — Hand-Crank USB Charger 

• I'm taking a trip to China soon, and 
last summer we spent a week 
without power due to downed trees 
all over the state. Let's just say it 
was a rough week. So I wanted to 
find a way to charge my USB stuff 
without using those battery packs. 
Originally I was thinking of making 
an Altoids can AA battery charger, 
until I stumbled upon Ben Heck's 
video on YouTube. 

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Hand-Crank USB Charger 

Step 2 

• First - RESEARCH. I needed to look up the pin specifications of a USB cord and find a 
USB extension cord. I needed the female end as well as the male end for testing. 

• Second - I hit up Walmart and Harbor Freight for cheap hand-crank flashlights. I ended up 
getting 3 different lights. I got a Gordon crank light ($8), a Gordon LED Dynamo flashlight 
($8 for a 2-pack), and an Energizer hand-crank flashlight ($10). 

• NOTES. Record your findings in your Maker's Notebook. (Shameless plug!) 

• USB Pins - A quick Google search and you can find all this info, but basically on a regular 
USB-A cable you need the red and black wires. 

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Hand-Crank USB Charger 

Step 3 

ben heck crank fia-hli.jli! 

%. DIY Hand Crank Android Charger! - The Ben Heck Show 
' SUBSCRIBE NBW!> Os.jfc,..i* .v»i.u«o - 

• Next was a trip to YouTube and to RadioShack. Ben Heck from has a 
video on this exact project. 

• At RadioShack you will need to pick up a 10-ohm resistor as well as a 5V zener diode. 

• I found that the small hand-crank LED light from Harbor Freight worked the best due to the 
fact that it was the only one with a rectifier. Solder your resistor and diode as seen in the 
picture (borrowed from Ben's YouTube channel ). 

• SIDE NOTE - You can actually remove all of the other components (3.6v battery, misc. 
resistors) from the PCB. You only need the rectifier. 

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Hand-Crank USB Charger 

Step 4 

• Finally, solder the red and black 
leads to the rectifier and the 
resistor as shown in the picture in 
the previous step. Plug in your 
phone/i Pod/whatever and crank 
your heart out. 

• Use your multimeter to make sure 
the diode is only putting out 5V (or 
thereabouts). If the voltage is 
higher, you could damage your 

Check out The Ben Heck Show. A video where I learned about this project can be found here . 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 04:15:21 AM. 

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